SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP/KGTV) — California school districts should plan on teaching from afar for the rest of the academic year.
That's according to new guidance from the state superintendent of public instruction and Gov. Gavin Newsom. It's not a mandate, but it gives districts the cover to do what many already felt was necessary.
California has more than 6 million students across 10,000 schools.
Google says it will provide internet access to 100,000 rural households and Chromebooks for 4,000 students in need to assist with online learning. Newsom says the state is still working to ensure all students can be connected.
"I just found out that we are doing online classes for the rest of the school year starting April 20th," said Granite Hills High School senior Haley Johnson.
She said she was looking forward to the last few months of her high school career, before heading off to the University of Hawaii on a softball scholarship.
"I won’t be able to see my friends or teachers anymore and I’m not going to be able to do the senior activities for the rest of the year, and my softball season got canceled too."
The Grossmont Union High School District recently announced it had online distance learning plans underway if Newsom called for it.
Teacher would provide students with weekly online lesson plans on their Chromebooks and give support through videos, chats, emails and phone calls.
Newsom's admission comes the same day the University of California Board of Regents announced it will ease admissions requirements for students applying to its nine campuses, including UC San Diego, during the coronavirus pandemic. Students will not be punished for missing transcript deadlines during this time.
Wednesday night, the Chula Vista Elementary School District announced that it would remain closed for the rest of the school year. Read the letter the district sent below:
As our scheduled Spring Break comes to an end, I want to inform you that Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) facilities and campuses will remain closed for the rest of the school year, unless health officials determine that it is safe to reopen. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Governor have each recommended closing school facilities for the duration of the academic year. Although short of a directive, I concur with their respective recommendations, which reflect the concern and need for ongoing social distancing. This means that classes will not resume for CVESD students on April 6 in the traditional sense. Instead, our District will embark on a Distance Learning initiative. The first week back from Spring Break will be reserved for teacher planning, preparation, and professional development. Distance learning will commence, to the extent possible, on April 13.
Our instructional team has worked diligently with our teacher leaders and peers from across San Diego County to rapidly develop plans to support students’ academic progress while at home. I ask for your patience and flexibility as we all adapt to new ways of teaching and learning outside of the traditional classroom setting. Our goal now is to ensure a continuity of education to the greatest extent possible, given current conditions.
I know this is a difficult period for many. Please be reassured that the safety of students and staff remains our highest priority. It is important to continue to comply with the Governor’s “Shelter in Place” directive. Our duty as a school district during this period is to carry out the following essential services:
Meal preparation and distribution to students.
Keeping the continuity of learning moving forward.
Our journey will not always be smooth or easy. I look forward to the day when we can meet again in person. Until then, please stay healthy and well. Go through our newsletter in detail, and keep informed about our plans for Distance Learning.
Francisco Escobedo, Ed.D.